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Korean War
In South Korea
Part of the Cold War and the inter-Korean conflict
Korean War Montage 2

Clockwise from top: A column of the U.S. 1st Marine Division's infantry and armor moves through Chinese lines during their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir • UN landing at Incheon harbor, starting point of the Battle of Incheon • Korean refugees in front of a U.S. M46 Patton tank • U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, landing at Incheon • F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft
Date 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953
(3 years, 1 month and 2 days)
Korean Peninsula, Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan, Korea Strait, China–North Korea border

Military stalemate

  • North Korean invasion of South Korea repelled
  • Subsequent U.S.-led United Nations invasion of North Korea repelled
  • Subsequent Chinese invasion of South Korea repelled
  • Korean Armistice Agreement signed in 1953
  • Korean conflict ongoing

The Korean War ("Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations, principally from the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

As a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948 with the border set at the 38th parallel. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent.

The conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military (KPA) forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation of the United Nations Command and the dispatch of forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.

The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was ever signed, and the two Korea's are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the DMZ and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War.


USMC Casualty Naktong River
Casualties near Pusan
Battle of Inchon
UN Forces landing at Inchon

25th June 1950

  • North Korea invades South Korea and takes most of South Korea. The South Korean Army retreats to Busan.

July 1950

  • United Nations army intervenes and lands at Incheon, a small port just about half-way down South Korea, from there on they fight the North Korean army and push them past the border separating North and South Korea and close to the Chinese border, just south of the Yalu River.
  • China starts to feel threatened with the war happening so close to them and tells the UN Army and the South Korean army to return to the border and that they have no business to fight so far into North Korea.
October 1950
  • The warning given by the Chinese is ignored by the UN (led by an American general, Douglas MacArthur) and so the Chinese army, called the People's Liberation Army, invades North Korea and helps the North Koreans fight the UN until the UN forces are pushed past the border separating North and South Korea.
  • Because MiG-15s are beating America's P-80 Shooting Stars, the F-86 Sabre goes to Korea.
February 1951
  • Fighting continues until order is restored and neither army is in the other country. Peace talks begin.
11 April 1951
  • Douglas MacArthur relieved of his commands for making public statements that contradicted the administration's policies
March 1951 - 27th July 1953
  • Peace talks continue. On the 27th July 1953 no peace has been declared but an armistice is signed by both countries and the UN withdraws.


Country Good Bad
USA Stopped communist expansion. Greece and Turkey joined NATO. Upheld Truman Doctrine. Far too aggressive, this made other countries nervous
UN First major success. Could only win through violence, not peace talks
Both Koreas North Korea got a treaty with China. South Korea stayed Capitalist Many people died; much property was destroyed. No re-unification
China Foreign war united the country and improved rulers' prestige USSR relations became worse. Banned from the UN Security Council
USSR North Korea stayed Communist. Tested their Air Force against the United States Chinese relations became worse. Lost a great deal of money.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Guerra de Corea para niños

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